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Explore Seattle’s secret beaches with the Shoreline Street Ends program

The Seattle Department of Transportation’s Shoreline Street Ends program turns any shoreline at the end of a street into a public access beach.

This panoramic image shows one of the Shoreline Street Ends public access areas on the western end of Magnolia. There's some greenery lining the area between a lawn and the water, but a beach that's just a short walk away can be seen.

Have a little private picnic at this public access waterfront area located at 2999 W. Marina Pl.

Photo via SDOT

We wanna be where the people... aren’t.

As Seattle’s temps warm up for the summer, its beaches tend to pack out as all of us Vitamin D-starved locals make a break for the sun.

If you’re looking for something that feels a bit more like a personal hidden gem, allow us to introduce you to the Shoreline Street Ends program?

Launched in 1996, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) program turns any shoreline at the end of a street into a public access waterfront. In turn, this creates some tucked-away, secret beaches.

This program aims to:

  • Improve public accessibility to Seattle’s 200 miles of shoreline
  • Protect our local ecosystem with native plantings and green stormwater treatment
  • Encourage community stewardship of our spaces

There are more than 142 of these spots across town, all ranging in available amenities and features.
To catalog each of these, SDOT also created an interactive map detailing which areas are a part of the program, which are suited for visitors, photos of each location, and detailed listings with current information + ongoing projects.

This panoramic picture shows a beach nestled in between houseboats along Lake Union. There's a wooden bench in the foreground and some tasteful decorative driftwood along the landscaping.

This public access beach at 2373 Fairview Ave. E. would be a great spot to bring a snack and a book.

Photo via SDOT

Here are a few of our favorite locations:

  • 2373 Fairview Ave. E. | This spot includes a gradual slope to the waterfront and a bench.
  • 2999 W. Marina Pl. | Get a beautiful view of Elliott Bay off the shore of Magnolia.
  • 3819 51st Ave. NE | Discover the native plantings as you wander down timber stairs to the Lake Washington waterfront, which also includes a picnic table.
  • 4300 55th Ave. NE | This one has some seating and lots of vegetation to give the tiny, dirt beach some privacy.
  • 5641 Seaview Ave. NW | Follow some stairs down to a landscaped shoreline area at the mouth of Salmon Bay.

Want to help keep these areas nice? Volunteer with Friends of Street Ends.

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